There’s a real art to creating a public space that appeals to varied ages and backgrounds. Different people respond to elements in a variety of ways based on context and experience. So how can a commercial space satisfy a diverse group of people? Expert interior designer Lori Wiles designed a space for an investment company that utilizes common elements to attract in different but equally powerful ways.

First, Lori considers who uses the space. The main challenge for the investment company was designing for two distinct groups of users, older and younger investors. Regardless of income level, the older clients were likely to be monitoring long-term investments and the younger building new ways to secure their futures. Choosing elements that suggested longevity, security, and cutting-edge business practices was key.

These themes were expressed by incorporating four key components: context, materials, colors, and technology.


This office was located in the midwest, so Lori made sure to consider the tastes of this region in the design. Respect for the land is a theme in this area, as well as an openness toward modern trends and open space regardless of age.


Lori chose to incorporate reclaimed wood throughout the space. Wood generally appeals to the land-honoring aesthetic of the midwest. The reclaimed wood both indicated a respect and love for things past, which appeals to an older group, and a desire to remake what’s found, which appeals to a younger generation.


Neutral and earth tones are widely accepted, as are shades of blue and green, so those colors were used as bases. Orange was used as an accent again as a nod to past generations and to appeal to a trendy younger bunch.


Modern touches like fingerprint-operated locks were added to old wooden doors to merge state-of-the-art technology with time-honored tradition. Even if a door is at the back of the room the presence of these combined elements will make an impression on anyone using the space; each piece of a room in important in a quality design.

Not every aspect of the design needs to specifically evoke nostalgia and the latest styles. Furniture, flooring, paint, lighting, and other design elements can successfully complement the more impactful design elements without demanding immediate attention or detracting from the importance of the themes of security and longevity.

In the hands of an expert designer, the office space was welcoming, reassuring, and even exciting as old and young look to the future of themselves and later generations. The space is balanced, functions well, and is emotionally satisfying for old and young alike. Lori’s expertise allowed her to draw on possibly disparate elements and artfully combine them to suggest security and longevity with a fresh contemporary edge.